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Accor Hotels has just officially launched the replacement to its hugely popular ‘Happy Mondays’ promotion, which sadly came to an end last week. It’s called Secret Deals, and my first impression is that I can see why Accor isn’t keen to shout about it.
To be blunt: Happy Mondays was brilliant and this looks a bit rubbish.
The basic premise behind Secret Deals is simple enough – additional discounts for members of Accor’s Le Club loyalty programme (sign up here) at selected UK hotels. You can book dates for the next 3 months and it looks like the participating hotels will change every 1-2 weeks.
There are actually 3 different parts to the Secret Deals promotion:
- At least 20% 0ff Room Only bookings
- At least 20% off Bed & Breakfast bookings.
- ‘Experience Packages’ – including things like spa treatments and afternoon tea, etc
The 20%+ discounts do at least seem to be genuine, but are derived from the Best Flexible Rate, which isn’t a fair comparison because Secret Deals are non-refundable:
I haven’t had chance to check many examples yet though, and haven’t looked at the Experience Packages at all – let us know what you find in the comments!
The discount levels are one side of the equation, the other is how many hotels participate. This is important because one of the reasons Happy Mondays was withdrawn was because an increasing number of hotels didn’t wish to participate. The early signs aren’t good – this is the full list of cities for the Room Only deals (available to book until the 13th May 2017), and it’s considerably more limited than any Happy Mondays I can remember.
The B&B and ‘Experiences’ lists are even shorter.
Accor Hotels Secret Deals Bottom line
I don’t want to be completely negative about this, as it is still likely to be the best way to book Accor hotels in the UK, and it might yet evolve into something more interesting (the 20% discount is supposed to be a minimum, afterall). I’ll be keeping a close eye on any developments.
That said, it’s difficult to muster up much enthusiasm for Secret Deals so far. Some secrets are only kept quiet because nobody is interested enough to talk about them…